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How to Prepare a Healthy Meal in One Single Skillet

Forget about ordering takeout again. Check out our one-pan plan.

You probably think your “frying” pan is bad for you—the thing’s a bacon cooker and burger griddle, after all. But some of the nation’s best chefs will tell you that a skillet is the single best tool in your kitchen and truly the only one you need to make a healthy and delicious meal from start to finish. 

We know—you’re too busy to cook at home. But stick with us here. A one-pan meal can be an easy and healthy alternative to microwaving a frozen dinner or ordering takeout. 

“The one-pan concept really keeps clutter down and facilitates a quick cleanup,” says Carla Snyder, author of One Pan, Two Plates. Cooking a one-pan meal “generally means protein into the pan, protein out of the pan, veggies in, then protein back in, along with any sauce, broth, wine, or flavor enhancers. Ten minutes later, dinner is served.” And it’ll taste great, too: “You’ve captured the flavors from all the components of the meal in one pan, so they mingle,” Snyder says. 

To take advantage of one-pan cooking, all you really need is a heavy 12-inch skillet, preferably a nice, old cast-iron one.  

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